Leeds Knights add defensive strength ahead of top-of-table clash with Peterborough Phantoms
The 25-year-old will find himself thrown right into the deep end by his new team as he goes straight into the Knights’ line-up to face former club Peterborough Phantoms at Elland Road Ice Arena on Saturday (face-off 4.30pm).
Barry, from Sheffield, played for Peterborough last season and started off the 2022-23 NIHL National campaign with them, too, but left towards the end of last month. He played one game for Basingstoke Bison last weekend – scoring two goals – and had signed for Widnes Wild in NIHL North One.
But Knights’ head coach has moved quickly to add the experienced D-man to his roster, particularly as he found himself going into the weekend missing three blue lines through either injury or unavailability.
Veteran D-man Sam Zajac was already missing from the Knights line-up last weekend with a lower-body injury, with Jordan Griffin joining him on the sidelines after sustaining an upper-body injury in last Sunday’s 4-1 home defeat to Swindon Wildcats, the Knights’ first in regulation. Archie Hazeldine, meanwhile, is away with Great Britain Under-20s on international duty in Lithuania.
Barry trained with his new team-mates for the first time on Friday night.
"We’re going to keep Tom here for the rest of the season,” said Aldridge on Friday night. “It’s more depth in our line-up and Tom is somebody who suits our line-up, I like our D to play to a certain style and I think he will fit into that. Plus, everybody in our locker room says he is a great guy and that’ plays a big part of whenever you make a signing.
“He comes in with plenty of experience at this level and with losing Sam and Jordan, we’re quite short in that area and bringing Tom in allows me to put Lewis Baldwin back up front down the stretch if we need to, so it brings a lot to our roster.”
Barry came through the Sheffield junior system, breaking through to play seven seasons for Sheffield Steeldogs until last season, the first after lockdown, when he made the switch to Peterborough.